Indian sustainable designers at FDCI x Lakme Fashion Week

One of the grand events in the fashion industry for 2023 has recently been concluded in Delhi hosted by Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) x Lakme Fashion Week (LFW). This extravagant fashion event focuses on bringing the leading and emerging designers of the country to the forefront in the form of runway shows and exhibit space. One can find the leading fashion influencers and celebrities of the country walking down the runway for many talented designers. It’s the perfect feast to explore new collections, and trends, and a celebration of pioneering creativity.

In the midst of this glamour and glitz, LFW x FDCI brings Sustainability Day at Fashion Week. For this day the focus is placed on highlighting sustainable fashion practises and designers. Dedicated day to bring light to circularity in fashion and small steps that bring sustainability to the forefront. Sustainable designers in India are gaining recognition and influence in the fashion industry. They are carving a definite niche for themselves. Their collections are taking significant strides towards promoting slow fashion’s ability to revolutionize the sector. Sustainable fashion day by FDCI x Lakme brings pioneering hope for change in our fashion landscape.

As crafts hold a key role in our culture, many Indian designers are working with traditional craftsmanship, weavers, and artisans of delicate embroideries in their collections. With these circular collections, Indian sustainable designers are committing efforts to reducing the ecological footprint of their creations. Becoming an inspiration for many aspiring young designers in school. These designers emphasise the importance of reducing waste with zero-waste designs, reusing material, and recycling garments and waste to create more eco-conscious ethical industry practices.

Also read: Here’s why brands should explore sustainable e-commerce

Let’s look at the designers who showcased on the Sustainable Fashion Day at FDCI x LFW October 2023 showcase:

Amita and Swati open the Sustainable Fashion Day at FDCI x LFW

Amita Gupta: The age of urban reforestation

Amita Gupta is known for offering the audience brand’s keen and deep affection towards nature. The collection called ‘The Age of Urban Reforestation’ showcases the designer’s care for the environment. Inspired by nature’s earthy and floral colours used on plain whites, the designs reflected perfect harmony and balance. Inspired by elements like organic textures and earthy tones, the collection had fluid silhouettes.

Swati Kapoor: Sahaara

The designer showcased her new collection called Sahaara. Focused on celebrating the largest desert in the world in the African continent. The collection had a strong bohemian appeal and designs were inspired by and designed for a global nomad. Wooden block printing was used to enhance the fabric textures. Patterns like the magnificent desert rose.

The collection further went on to reflect upon the regions of Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Mali and Morocco where the desert stretches through. Swati’s designs were a mesmerizing portrayal of the arid landscape that captured the desert with her bold and intricate patterns. She worked with fabrics like self-striped Chanderi’s and handwoven cotton and silk, from Bengal. Skillful hand embroidery aided in enhancing the block printing. Overall, the showcase was received well with its fluid and feminine silhouettes.

Ka-sha: Milan

Ka-sha by Karishma Shahani Khan unveiled her collection called Milan. An artistic tribute to the work of Khalil Gibran. The brand quoted that the collection ‘enquires into unions built on individuality, through different elements coming together to play their own part in absolute synergy. Creating an effect greater than the sum of its parts.

They sought inspiration from nature’s free-flowing roots of trees, densely intertwined yet finding their path. Further inspired by geometric patterns that build balanced structures through repetition.

Free-flowing silhouettes have always been a true classic in a Ka-Sha showcase. The ensembles were a mix of curated shirts, skirts, Ka-sha classic jackets, tied-around scarves and kurtas. These garments were elevated with geometric patterns and applique work that helped to highlight the texture of the fabrics.

Also read: Fashion Capital – Paris Fashion Week (SS24) Highlights

11.11 Cell DSGN: Handspun

11.11 celebrated its 15th year showcasing India’s indigenous crafts. Designers Mia Morikawa and Shani Himanshi are the driving forces heading 11.11. The brand has become a leading pret label in India that brings Indian craft to the forefront.

This year’s collection for 11.11 has been an ode to the handspun textile of India and the many hands that create yarn to fabric. Its SS24 collection brings the attention back to the artisans and the hand spinner who have been the core of the fashion industry for many years. The collection was an amalgamation of art and crafts, showcased in hues of fuchsia pink, mint green, and lemon yellow. Blended with the classical tones of indigo. Staying true to 11.11’s true style of mixing raw and beautiful fabrics with diverse craft practises, a perfect jugalbandi as the brand calls it.

With a uniquely crafted ramp and live classical Indian music at play, the brand stole many hearts. They included industry stalwarts like Ekta Rajani to walk the ramp in their collection. Shefalee Vasudev, Editor in Chief of Voice of Fashion, artists Thukral and Tagra, designers like Ruchika Sachdev of Bodice, Karishma Shahani of Ka-Sha and many notable names from the fashion industry were in attendance.

Also read: Celebrating luxury style: Milan and London fashion week highlights

Payal Pratap: The soft parade

The evening showcase of Payal Pratap was a packed one. This collection by Payal was a heartfelt tribute to the exquisite craftsmanship of Kutch. A region known for its deep-rooted textile traditions.
The collection is called ‘The Soft Parade’. The models walked the ramp wearing an ensemble rich in the tapestry of handwoven khadi cotton, handloom linens and woven stripes. Fabric detailing went to chambray weaves, silks, chanderis with stunning bandhani silk prints.

The designers showcase pieces inspired by ancient Kedias, reworked into detailed patterns. Her collection was a modern twist to the traditional fabrics that were refined with intricate patchwork. Modern abstract motifs of nature were a great add-on. Using multiple handstitched techniques along with an abstract array of rose motifs.

Hues of blue, neutral ivories and black were prominent with a tinge of red. In silhouettes – wrap skirts, jacket dresses, long and short kedia-inspired jackets and comfy lungi pants were offering a fresh flavour to the sustainable day. Payal even worked to design custom handmade footwear featuring Bandhani brogue patterns, embellished with semi-precious stones to add up the glitter.

Also read: The economic boost of hosting ICC World Cup in India

The grand closing show at FDCI x LFW Sustainable Fashion Day

Abraham & Thakore: Body Language

The leading designer duo known for their classic luxe designs launched their collection called Body Language. The leading show that ended the sustainable fashion day at FDCI x LFW explored the timeless allure of black and white. Typography became a focal point for the collection offering audience avant-garde ensembles. With intricate play between patterns and textures, there was much to the monochrome showcase for the audience to take with them. They focused on everyday wear for many generations, opening and closing the show with a saree look.

The collection adorned fabrics like ikat, ajrakh and brocades that seamlessly reflected the fine and unique Indian craftsmanship. The fabrics were refined with badla, sequin work and intricate laser-cut designs. Rakesh Thakore said in a statement ‘We are excited to be showcasing this season at Lakmé Fashion Week in partnership with FDCI. We believe in the power of playfulness and once again, have taken classic silhouettes and created a seamless blend of the formal and the casual by dressing them in wit and whimsy.’

David Abraham added, “This collection is a celebration of the timeless art of communication through fashion. We hope it starts a much-needed conversation and transcends the limitations of words.”

Also read: How brands navigate supply chain challenges during festive season

The Sustainable Day at FDCI x LFW saw an assortment of artistic designer showcases. All forging a creative path to blend style with slow fashion and craft. Bringing to light how seamlessly Indian designers blend the modern prowess of the fashion world with traditional craftsmanship. Promoting the use of eco-conscious ways of producing fashion garments. Building awareness on how slow fashion helps to tackle the environmental issues of the sector.

Author: Mankiran